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Breezy Point residents upset with park visitors


From the Breezy Point Beach Facebook page.

Prince Frederick, MD – A delightful day at the beach for visitors is contributing to the summer from hell for residents of a Calvert County bayside community. On Tuesday, July 10 some residents of Breezy Point Beach went to the Calvert County Commissioners to voice their concerns about the visitors to the county-owned park in their community. To hear the residents talk, the beach visitors are making too much noise, ignoring parking restrictions and creating traffic gridlock.

“Every weekend I got to call them,” said longtime resident Charles Becker, who complained about the “amplified music” from the park that frequently jars the adjacent community. “This has been happening all summer.” Becker stated that he recently had a medical emergency and the ambulance that transported him to the hospital had difficulty entering and exiting the community due to the heavy traffic.

There is no question Breezy Point has become a popular destination on the Chesapeake Bay. This past Independence Day county authorities sent out an alert shortly after 9 a.m. announcing that Breezy Point Beach was at max capacity. “Patrons are being turned away and should expect major traffic congestion,” the alert stated. Breezy Point Beach was one of several venues statewide that maxed out its capacity on Independence Day.

“It’s going to lower everyone’s property values,” Becker predicted.

“They’ve created a park that local people don’t want to go to,” said Jen Anderson. Noting that the county has increased the number of law enforcement officers inside the park to enforce zero tolerance policies and such violations as fighting, Anderson said residents are requesting “police outside the gates before the chaos starts.”
Of the Independence Day traffic, Anderson declared, “we could not leave our neighborhood on July 4th. We shouldn’t be prisoners in our own homes.”

Another woman who addressed the board stated that motorists were speeding and some beach-goers and campers who are parking in the neighborhood are urinating in the yards and streets.

According to the county government web site, Breezy Point Beach and Campground is open daily May 1 through Oct. 31 from 6 a.m. to dusk. “Breezy Point Beach and Campground [is] a most popular destination and serves a high volume of visitors during summer weekends and holidays,” a synopsis on the county web site states. “To ensure the safety of our visitors and protection of the facilities, the park has a limited capacity. During periods of high visitation, when Breezy's capacity has reached maximum it will be closed and traffic will be turned away from the entrance. When that occurs, no additional vehicles / visitors will be allowed to enter, including those with members of their party who may have already entered. If you are not traveling in the same vehicle with others in your party, we suggest that you all arrive at the same time or carpool. If any vehicle leaves the beach it will not be permitted to re-enter until the park reopens. When the Breezy is closed due to being full-to-capacity, individuals and groups with camping reservations and/or groves reservations (25 parking spaces) will be admitted, as parking is reserved for those purposes. Based on recent experience and visitation trends, and depending on good weather, Breezy Point Beach and Campground will fill to capacity and close on Memorial Day and Fourth of July holiday weekends, Labor Day weekend and likely to fill many other weekends during the course of the season. Please take this into consideration when planning your outing.”

Commissioners’ President Evan K. Slaughenhoupt Jr. [R - District 3] urged the residents to provide Department of Parks and Recreation Director Shannon Q. Nazzal with information on their concerns. “They [Parks and Recreation] do have plans to mitigate the problems,” said Slaughenhoupt, adding, “we do listen.”

Anderson submitted pictures showing the traffic gridlock and offered suggestions for correcting the current problems. She said the county should create a “second exit” from the park, have a tiered admission system that gives preference to county residents and offer no “season passes” to “out-of-county residents.”

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com

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